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Turkey Size Question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bigredfeather, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I am doing some turkeys for the first time this year. I will be preselling them to my broiler customers for Thanksgiving. I will be receiving 9 poults( 3 Blue Slate, 3 bourbob Red, and 3 Bronze). As of now, I have them scheduled for delivery the first week of August. My plan is to run them with my broiler for the first 8 weeks, then move them to a fenced pasture area with a field shelter until the week before Thanksgiving, when they will be processed. I will likely feed them my 23% broiler feed all the way thru.
    Now for my questions. Any idea about how big I can expect these turkeys to get doing them this way? And, about how much feed could I expect them to eat (trying to get an idea of how much I will have in them).

  2. ourflockof4

    ourflockof4 Chirping

    Apr 9, 2010
    Northern Ohio
    I am not a turkey expert, but they will not be very big by then. Most heritage breeds take 6-8 month to reach full size. I think you should switch to a broad breasted type instead. Last year we raised some BBB (broad breasted bronze) that we got the first week of August. We feed 28% for the first 2 months then dropped to 20% and they were in the 12-15 lb range by thanksgiving. The BBW will grow bigger faster though.

    Do some research over in the turkey section if your havent yet. It's not advisable to have them on grass before 6-8 weeks, or to raise them with chickens.
  3. kellerfarm

    kellerfarm In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2011
    We raised bronze breasted last year. Had one male and one female. We raised them on the same feed we fed our chickens. We got them in June and by 4months the male was 50lbs when I butchered it. We waited another month for the female, and she was 35lbs.
  4. GJ_Kate

    GJ_Kate Songster

    Feb 27, 2011
    Grand Junction
    We did BR turkeys for the first time last year and we started them in the beginning of April. Granted we didn't feed them really high protein feed, but still the 4 males that we butchered 5 days before Thanksgiving only dressed out at 9-11 pounds. This year we're trying to start as early as possible (eggs in the incubator right now from the breeders that we kept from last year) and we're going to up the protein and also build a turkey tractor and get them out on pasture too.
    You may want to get them sooner, like now? [​IMG]
    Good luck!
  5. FarmerRob

    FarmerRob Songster

    Jul 13, 2007
    At three months old heritage breed turkeys will be the size of a large chicken but nowhere near what is generally expected from a turkey. The heritage breeds will average about 7 months to grow out on good feed. If you can switch over to a Broad Breasted White they will be ready in around 5 months. You would need to have them in your possession by late June or early July. If you are going to stick to the heritage breeds then you need them on the property by mid April. Good Luck.
  6. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:After doing a little more research, the answer you provided is the same conclusion I came to, so I called the hatchery and they are going to ship them to me on April 14th. I am hoping that even if I run them for 8 weeks with my broilers, they will be okay by November. Who knows, when I get them I may decide to keep them seperate and feed them a high % feed. Not what I want to do, but it may be what's best. My customers are looking for 12-16 pounders, so that is my target.

    EGGTASKTIC Chirping

    Sep 16, 2009
    I tried 6 last year BBW, got them in late july and they were nicely started, well feathered ( did not ask the age). Ran them 6 weeks with the red rangers I was trying. 3 were toms and 3 hens. The Toms made it to about 20lbs by Nov. They were super eating.
    I smoked one of the hens for a football party and it was gone in no time.

    Ordered 12 to arrive first of May. Going to let them out like you are planning on.

  8. Jared77

    Jared77 Songster

    Apr 27, 2010
    Howell, MI
    How are you guys getting BBW turkeys in the middle of summer? I have yet to find any, they are here in the early spring then gone it seems like till next year. There a secret site I'm missing out on? Id rather not have to freeze the bird at all. Id rather process it, let it rest then serve it. Takes up WAAAY to much freezer space to even attempt to justify it to my wife.

    Thank you and I'm sorry if I thread jack! Its not intentional!!! [​IMG]
  9. ghulst

    ghulst Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Zeeland Michigan
    Quote:Townline has them most of the summer. We are short on turkeys now. Call and get them ordered. 616-772-6514

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